DMZ opens
Later Mandrake's, The Zone, Vino's
Chris Johnson // The DMZ was where I saw my first punk rock show, the Screaming Trees opened up for Firehose. I went with a friend up the street named Kelsey and some other chick, somebodies parents dropped us off. I remember walking in the door and the place was just this dirty old store front with a loud room in the back. In the front room there where couches strone about and this weird looking cylindrical structure that served as a ticket booth. When we got into the back there was a bar and a table for the sound guy, then the stage was in the very far back portion of the room where all the action happened. I remember The Screaming Trees put on a better show that night than Firehose, in my opinion. I would come to see many bands in that place even as it grew into Vino's. Great times.

Chris Johnson (memphis, tn)
cHe // The DMZ was the only place that everyone could get together and just be as punk or un-punk as they wanted. Little Rock in the late 1980's was not a mecca of "indie-alternative" culture, but it was damn close. The DMZ seemed to be that special place where all of these really talented and creative people would gather. Bands seemed to just sprout up out of the concrete. Every weekend there seemed to be a different venue, we would all load up in cars and travel to this location at 7th and Chester, catty corner to the fire house. We would skate around downtown before shows and mix it up during the gigs, and eventually crash as a group at a friends house. A time before internet and cell phones, when throwing your voice out was through music, art, or a crappy little fanzine (I am speaking about my own Dork Zine, there were plenty of really good zines floating around). It was a great time and a great place.
Lincoln Smith // I remember going to DMZ in my early teens. I had a couple of friends at the time who were old enough to drive. 7th and Chester was a not-so-well-attended-to intersection of downtown, which is probably why it was able to exist in the fashion it had. I forget what other businesses neighbored the place, but none of them operated at night and I suppose not too many complained about trash, broken glass and cigarette butts everywhere from the night before. The decor was rather sparse and bare bones and the cashier was this gal named Mona, who had this voice you could hear from across the room. I remember her with this kind-of Joan Jett mullet hair from Joan's days in The Runaways. Mona always wore black Chuck-Taylor hi-tops... the only official sneaker of punk rockers at the time. There was also a bouncer by the name of "Tiny" who, of course, was a truck of a man, bearded, quiet... and from what I could tell, had a strong aversion to sleeves on his shirts.

During it's time, DMZ was really THE ONLY game in town. And keep in mind that Little Rock, AR in 1987 is not the sort ... (More)
Jennifer Pyron // I was in high school when DMZ opened and it was 21 and over. The woman who worked the door for most shows was named Mona. She was famous for pretending to do something else while all the underage kids walked in. I remember seeing Scruffy the Cat, The Flaming Lips, and other bands like Dash Rip Rock (several times, I think). We knew it was cool but didn't realize just how cutting edge it was to have these shows coming to LR. I wish now that I had clearer memories of those times!
TC // Kay Baskerville and Tom Chipman open DMZ, at Seventh and Chester, opens at the former site of Urbi et Orbi art gallery.

DMZ is the closest thing to Memphis' Antenna Club, the only venue within 250 miles that hosts shows by Black Flag, Bad Brains, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, REM, and The Replacements by 1987.

DMZ would soon become a viable LR alternative, hosting not only local bands but traveling bands such as All, Scruffy the Cat, Glass Eye, The Flaming Lips, and Ignition among others.
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